The British Skin Foundation have teamed up with supermarket chain Asda to launch the ‘Don’t Get Burnt’ sun care campaign in order to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection and to try and reduce the tax on sunscreen products.
The campaign aims to highlight the health risks associated with UV radiation and wants to challenge the UK Government into reducing the price of sun care products.
A spokesperson from the British Skin Foundation, Hermione Lawson, said: “By the end of the summer, around 1250 people in the UK will die from skin cancer. We are supporting Asda’s ‘Don’t Get Burnt’ campaign to highlight the serious health risks posed from sun damage.”
A recent survey from the supermarket revealed that an alarming 9% of Brits who took part never apply sunscreen, 56% of Brits don’t apply sunscreen frequently enough and a further 57% wear out of date sunscreen, exposing them selves to dangerous amounts of UV radiation.
Figures from the National Office for Statistics show that every year more than 100,000 people in the UK alone are diagnosed with life-threatening skin cancer and a quarter of those diagnosed lose their life as a result of sun damage.
Media Medic Dr Dawn Harper, seen on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies is also supporting the campaign, and said: “As the sun comes out everyone is keen to enjoy the fun that comes with it. However, Brits need to take sun protection seriously. Malignant melanoma is the fastest rising common cancer in the UK and is particularly high in younger people.”
Dr Dawn Harper also stated: “Shockingly, allowing your child to play in the sun unprotected is a much higher risk than allowing them to smoke a cigarette – just ten minutes in strong sun could be all it takes for the UVB rays to burn the skin, and just one episode of sun burn can trigger melanoma.”
Hermione Lawson of the British Skin Foundation added: “What people don’t often realise is that skin cancer is a largely preventable disease, and along with clothing and shade, high factor sunscreen can help protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.”
General sun protection is the main preventable cause of skin cancer and regular use of sunscreen in the first 18-years of your life can reduce the lifetime risk of non-melanoma skin cancers by a huge 80%. However, Asda’s survey showed that 60% of those who participated believe that sunscreen is overpriced and are put off buying it.
Under current UK tax laws, Brits are charged a 20% VAT fee on sunscreen as it is deemed a ‘luxury’ item, rather than an essential health product. As part of the new ‘Don’t Get Burnt’ campaign, Asda is launching an e-petition for customers to sign in support of the supermarket’s attempt to reduce or diminish the unnecessary tax.
To sign the e-petition and for further information please visit www.your.asda.com/dontgetburnt
(Written 15/5/2013 for Daily Mail health section online, 500 words)